By Richard Campbell
The framers of the American Constitution were not perfect men, though they disagreed strongly, they consistently put the creation of a nation before their own personal desires. They knew how to compromise and they created a system that relies upon the ability to do so. Americans who look honestly at our history will see there have been many times when the ability to run the government has been more threatened than it is at the present time, but there were also periods of equanimity in which we as a nation understood divisions and were more interested in mending them.
America has been through a lot in the past fifteen years and is now at a crossroads of conscience. This is an intellectual point of view, the likes of which does not have a good track records in American history. Who remembers the influence of the peaceful on our country, when compared with our weapons of war? Who remembers the quiet voice of compassion of the thinking man or woman against jingoistic nationalist campaigns? We must realize that governments are not made by opinions, but laws, and laws need to be crafted by people educated and informed by their constituents. Perhaps everyone in the country besides Congress believes Congress is broken; but the reasons for failure are rarely discussed in detail. It is time to vote for the presidential candidate with the best fiscal policy for fixing the infrastructure of our country -not the one with the best one liners, or calls for more wars.
If we are honest about the need for real change at this time we will look first to the pernicious influence of money controlled by special interests who hire lobbyists in Washington. The lobbyists in America are our unelected officials: crafting laws, influencing votes, and pre-deciding issues outside of the legislative process. For neither executive privilege or congressional action can get rid of the lobbyists. Only the American voter can do this. A similar case can be made for cleaning up the absurd voting system in this country. An executive can tell me the exact number of McDonald’s hamburgers sold today with the click of a button, but we cannot get the voting machines to work right, or allow Americans to vote over a weekend. Americans never pay attention to the problem until after the passing of a suspicious election- of which we have seen a few in recent times. Never has there been a better time to ensure the voting process is secure.
The problem is bigger than voting. Whether it is corporate interests weakening environmental laws, the military industrial complex seeking the next over- priced miracle missile, unions advocating for special treatment of their workers, the NRA barking commands to militias, or big pharma searching for a kickback-everyone can find a special interest to match a personal agenda. If Americans want to be the judge of what matters to our success as a nation, deeper thought about fiscal policy, combined with direct action on priorities is in order. We must examine the rhetoric that substitutes for common sense in the current climate of emotional button pushing and consider if those same arguments are pre-formulated by the lobbyist’s pen. Our freedom as a nation relies upon this critical thinking, which is so lacking in the current election.
Do American’s really care about the middle east more than our own schools? I think most parents can answer that question. Is the average American who patiently waits while the infrastructure crumbles, appeals for a raise in the minimum wage, and wants the Federal government to fix the drinking water in dozens of cities asking for too much? The majority of Americans want Congress to pass sound laws that substantially improve the quality of life in our country. Now is a time to search our conscience about the places in this nation that have been left behind, and find it in our hearts to help repair deep wounds that still plague the American landscape.
Just because the media is more interested in the fight between the left and right than examining fiscal policy that would heal our nation’s divides, doesn’t mean we have to be distracted. It is time for a little Independence of mind on the part of Congress, for leaders to step outside of their coveted positions to craft legislation that improves the quality of life. Senators and Representatives: please, choose issues that force Congress to do something practical for our nation, and work together on a compromise to pass meaningful legislation. When a contribution is offered to your office, consider the trust you have been given by the American people- the people whom you are elected to serve. For no president, regardless of party or platform, can succeed in genuinely advocating for the American people if Congress is bought and sold.